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December 9/09 12:48 pm - Proposed Gravel Pit Threatens Cycling Route Near Calgary


Posted by on 12/9/09
 

Highway 549 is an important connector route and very popular with cyclists. It forms the part of many loops 1-4 hours in length southwest of Calgary. Many cyclists that ride to Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, or Millarville will all use Hwy 549 to travel East-West, and connecting with the popular Hwy 773 (Road to Nepal) and Hwy 22. MAP

It is important that the Municipal District of Foothills considers the heavy use of this area by cyclists and makes provision for their safety when considering the redesignation below. Please offer your opinion to the MD of Foothills Council.

Unfortunately, the council will only consider opinions that are presented at 1:30 pm on December 10, 2009. Please consider to write a short letter on behalf of your club that states your concern and the importance of safety for cyclists using this route if you cannot be present. Emails are not accepted.

Contact info for the MD Foothills is here: www.mdfoothills.com

Thanks for your consideration,
Jason Yanota
Okotoks, Alberta

PROPOSED REDESIGNATION
PTN. SE 30-20-01 W5
AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT TO INDUSTRIAL NATURAL RESOURCE DISTRICT


This notice is for anyone who has previously enjoyed peaceful and picturesque country vistas while bike riding up and down highway 549, West of Okotoks and east of hwy 22. Our days may be numbered on this route. There is a proposal going before the MD of Foothills this week for the development of a gravel pit on the south end of 80th street. Approval would result in a dramatic change in traffic patterns. Preliminary calculations indicate that there could be gravel trucks coming and going every 5-10 minutes, 12 hours per day, 6 days a week from April until November and occasionally through the winter months as well. The traffic route would extend from 80 Street on Highway 549 and follow the roads leading either to Hwy 2 or directly into Okotoks. The roads in this area are narrow and have very small shoulders. This huge increase in large trucks will make it very undesirable and even dangerous to ride in an area that has previously been relatively secluded. There are other considerations that make this undesirable as well. This will negatively impact human health, wildlife and agriculture in this area. (see attachments)

Our hope is to prevent the granting of a development permit for a gravel pit, which could ultimately turn this agricultural area into a busy industrial resource district. Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 is the time designated for a hearing for the consideration of this proposal. This will be our only opportunity to voice concerns. If you would like to express your disapproval there are some options: Of course you could appear at the hearing and voice your opinion. When and where is the hearing? December 10, 2009 at 1.30 p.m. at the MD of Foothills Building, 309 Macleod Trail, High River You could write and sign a short letter outlining your feelings in this regard.  This could be faxed or scanned. Contact information is included on attachment. (Or fax it directly to me: Valerie Harker: fax 403-938-1176)

All that is needed is a simple expression of your opinion and feelings. That small effort could help keep Highway 549 recreationally friendly for many years to come. If we lose this fight we may be opening the door to dramatic changes. Help us protect and preserve the recreational uses of this beautiful part of Alberta.

More info:

The information from the gravel company indicates that they could have trucks take up to 6000 loads of gravel out of the pit between April and November each year.  Because each truck must go in empty and come out full this really equals up to 12,000 trucks along that route annually!!

 


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